Wyoming receives good return investment for education spending

WYOMING – The Wyoming Education Association congratulates Wyoming’s educators for their work resulting in our state’s students leading the nation in the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card or NAEP.

Wyoming students ranked first in fourth grade mathematics scores and continue to remain above the national average in fourth and eighth grade reading and in eighth grade mathematics.

The results of the NAEP scores continue to prove that students in Wyoming are receiving the high-quality education they deserve.  These results further support the fact that the state must continue to properly fund its public schools.

WEA president Kathy Vetter said, “In Wyoming, we have an exceptional educational system, and the results show that our students are truly benefitting from that system.”

Every two years, NAEP tests are administered digitally in reading and mathematics to a sample of fourth and eighth grade students. NAEP tests differ from the WY-TOPP assessment, which tests all students. NAEP scores are important because the results represent all fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia and Department of Defense (DoD) schools, providing an external and stable trend line for comparing and tracking achievements.

Vetter continued, “In Wyoming, it has taken time and hard work to put together exceptional approaches for educating our kids. But it takes time to show how new approaches benefit our students. These scores highlight that the changes made are working and that any cuts to education could cause irreparable damage to our advancements to education.”

During the 2018 Wyoming legislative session, Governor Matt Mead, House Speaker Steve Harshman, and the Joint Appropriations Committee each demonstrated how Wyoming can restructure its state funds to meet the needs of public education.

The plans would have provided all students an equitable and adequate education, as required by the Wyoming Constitution and the Wyoming Supreme Court. Even the State of Wyoming’s contracted school finance consultant, Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, recommended increased funding to meet Wyoming’s educational needs.

Vetter concluded, “Full funding for public education is available right now, but some in the legislature refuse to use the resources we have to uphold the guiding principles stated in the Wyoming Constitution and the courts. Wyoming must take a serious look at how to maintain the great progress we are making to best educate our students by finding reliable, consistent funding.”

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